Looking for a new job after summer holidays? A job interview is something that can be really stressful. If you are going to have a job interview in English, here are some of the most commonly asked questions and possible answers.
1. Tell me about yourself
Even if you have practiced this in your English class, it can still be tricky. Interviewers don’t want to hear every single detail. Avoid saying things like:
I was born in Warsaw. I love playing on the computer and surfing the net or I have two sisters.
They don’t want to know everything about you. It would be much better if you talk about your career growth; they want to know how you fit the job you’re applying for.
2. What are your strengths?
Talk about positive qualities that you have and that might relate to what your future employees want and are looking for.
Try the following expressions that can be useful:
To be punctual – to be on time.
To be a team player – to work well with others.
To be ambitious – to have goals.
To take initiative – to do something without having to be told to do it.
To be proactive – to take initiative when doing things and to make them happen.
To keep your cool – to stay calm in all kinds of situations.
3. What are your weaknesses?
Nobody likes to talk about their weaknesses, so the trick is to turn them into positive qualities. For example, let’s say your weakness is that you spend too much time on projects, which makes you work slower. Turn that into a positive thing by saying:
I am sometimes slower in completing my tasks compared to others because I really want to get things right. I will double or sometimes triple-check documents and files to make sure everything is correct.
Another great trick is to talk about a weakness (like being disorganized) and mention some methods that you are using to help overcome this:
I have created a time-management system, which allows me to list all my duties and organize my deadlines so I have a clearer idea of what I need to do.
4. Why did you leave your last job?
Did you leave because you were fired? Or did you quit? If you chose to leave your old job, avoid saying anything negative about your old workplace or boss (even if it is true). The person or people interviewing you will just look at you in a negative way. You can say the following:
5. Tell us about your education
Here they want to know everything that you’ve studied that is related to the job. For example, your training and further education. You don’t need to tell them everything you’ve done since elementary school, just the important things.
Diploma – A qualification from a college/university/polytechnic.
Certificate – A document confirming your participation in a course.
If they ask you the question: tell us about your academic record, they want to know what kind of grades you received.
6. Where do you see yourself 5 years from now?
Talk about your goals. Again, it’s related to your career, not your personal life. Be careful what you say here, you need to be ambitious, but NOT too ambitious. You can mention:
By then I will have…I would like to have…
7. What kind of salary do you expect?
Be reasonable. It’s always good to do market research before so you know what the average salary is. Be confident and name your price without selling yourself too short or going too high.
8. Do you have any questions for us?
And now there is the final question to ask… them. So don’t ask anything that will make you sound silly, such as much vacation time do I get each year? You want to find out more, and if you don’t ask any questions, then they may view this as you being not very interested in the job. Ask questions like:
Remember first impressions count, think before you speak, show your great English skills and give awesome answers to win the job. If you still have doubts, come and join Eklektika’s English classes to be prepared. Good luck!
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